The Music After School program is a community outreach program of the Department of Music at William Paterson University. Through a unique dual-mentoring program, university music faculty and staff mentor university music student Fellows, who in turn provide mentoring and music instruction to students from the Paterson Public Schools through weekly music lessons and bi-annual performance opportunities. All parties benefit in this unique dual-mentorship system, where the students and the teachers learn from each other.
The curriculum is based on PPS district priorities, in combination with an instructional approach developed by faculty members from William Paterson University's Department of Music. Performances take place at home schools in December, with a gala year-end concert held at William Paterson University in May. This allows family, community members, and prospective program partners to hear and observe the progress and hard work of both students and their teachers. We currently offer flute, clarinet, trumpet, and percussion for first-year students with second-year students and beyond having opportunities to try baritone, French horn, trombone, and saxophone as well. We are currently in residence at the Norman S. Weir School in Paterson, New Jersey.
Since 2008, this program has offered approximately 20 weeks per year of high-quality music enrichment for students in grades 4-8 from the Paterson Public Schools, taught by outstanding university music majors and supervised by music department faculty. As of May 2016, Music After School has benefitted more than 160 PPS students. We are grateful to the Muna and Basem Hishmeh Foundation for their ongoing support of this program, which also includes Chamber Music Outreach (through which the WPU Music Department provides chamber music concerts to students from partner schools in Paterson) and the ESNCM*WPU Partnership (a student/faculty exchange program with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music).